Daniel Lemire's blog

, 1 min read

The hopeless ones become college professors

Many people justify their choice of pursuing graduate school by a desire to explore new ideas and satisfy their intellectual curiosity, an euphemism for goofing off.

These students use graduate school as a cultural hack… they turn what might be perceived as an asocial behaviour (e.g., spending 4 years writing a Perl compiler in JavaScript using Bayesian inference) into something that is tolerated and even encouraged. I think we need outlets where such smart people can go and do their things for a time. Indeed, most corporations do not want to collect employees who write Perl compilers in JavaScript using Bayesian inference. College can be a good place to park smart people until they find something productive to do. And the hopeless ones become college professors.